How's Your Heart?
And the seed in the good soil, these are the ones who have heard the word in an honest and good heart, and hold it fast, and bear fruit with perseverance.
Have you ever noticed that hospital doctors – especially ER doctors – always wear a stethoscope around their neck? One of the first things they do with a patient is to check the heart. Why is that? It’s because the heart is key and crucial. We can handle a poorly functioning gall bladder or kidney, but if the heart starts to fail, it’s Red Alert time.
So here’s the question: How’s your heart as it relates to God? If I were to put on the spiritual stethoscope, what would I discover?
THE SOWER AND THE SEED
In the Lord’s great parable of the sower and the seed, Jesus compares the good soil – the soil that receives the seed (the Word of God) and grows – with an honest and good heart. Is that true of your heart? If Dr. Jesus were to listen to your heart today, would He remove His stethoscope and declare your heart to be honest and good? What exactly does it mean to have a heart like that?
1. An honest and good heart looks soberly in the mirror and faces the brutal facts. A person with a heart like that doesn’t make excuses or blame others or lie to himself about his sins and moral failures. He doesn’t hide from the light of God’s truth, but he comes to the light so that forgiveness, cleansing and healing can take place.
2. An honest and good heart desires to do whatever is necessary to be right with God.
3. An honest and good heart knows “life is not about me and my agenda; it’s about Jesus and His glory.”
4. An honest and good heart is soft and tender and ready to receive from God. This person is not a bitter cynic, questioning God’s veracity and motives … and looking for reasons to “justify” his unbelief.
THE GOOD NEWS
What do you do if you didn’t fare so well on the heart test? Do you get mad at the doctor … and disregard the results of the test? I hope not. That would be incredibly foolish. The right thing to do is to get to work on your heart.
In the parable of the sower and seed, the good soil was that which had been cultivated, plowed, de-rocked and de-weeded. That same work needs to be done in your heart through genuine repentance, confession of sin, and turning to the Lord.
God says in Hosea 10:12, “Sow with a view to righteousness, reap in accordance with kindness; Break up your fallow ground, for it is time to seek the LORD until He comes to rain righteousness on you.
Humbly ask God to change your heart and make it honest and good … and He will. He longs to answer that kind of prayer.
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Jeff Schreve is Senior Pastor of First Baptist Church in Texarkana, Texas. He and his wife Debbie have been married for over 20 years and are blessed with three wonderful girls. Jeff began From His Heart Ministries, a radio and television ministry, in January of 2005. This ministry is completely listener/viewer supported. It continues only through the faithful and generous gifts of people like you. Pastor Jeff takes no salary from this ministry. All gifts go to further the broadcast.